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Flexible, efficient and robust real-time communication with server-based Ethernet Switching

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7 Author(s)
R. Santos ; DETI / IEETA / University of Aveiro, Portugal ; A. Vieira ; P. Pedreiras ; A. Oliveira
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The information exchanged in Networked Embedded Systems is steadily increasing in quantity, size, complexity and heterogeneity, with growing requirements for arbitrary arrival patterns and guaranteed QoS. One of the networking protocols that is becoming more common in such systems is Ethernet and its real-time Ethernet variants. However, they hardly support all the referred requirements in an efficient manner since they either favour determinism or throughput, but not both. A potential solution recently proposed by the authors is the Server-SE protocol that uses servers to confine traffic associated to specific applications or subsystems. Such an approach is dynamically reconfigurable and adaptive, being more bandwidth efficient while providing composability in the time domain. This paper proposes integrating the servers inside the Ethernet switch, boosting both the flexibility and the robustness of Server-SE, allowing, for example, the seamless connection of any Ethernet node. The switch is an FTT-enabled Ethernet Switch and the paper discusses two specific ways of integrating the servers, namely in software or in hardware. These options are described and compared analytically and experimentally. The former favours flexibility in the servers design and management while the latter provides lower latency.

Published in:

Factory Communication Systems (WFCS), 2010 8th IEEE International Workshop on

Date of Conference:

18-21 May 2010